Happy Birthday, BUDDY!!!!

I interrupt my regularly scheduled What I Wore Wednesday post to bring you a most Special edition of It's BUDDY's BiRthDAY and today is dedicated to YOU!!! Where do I begin?! As I went through old pics of us for MANY years gone by, I couldn't help but think what as made our friendship so strong through the years? We have been though a lot together, Buddy! We have been on A LOT of choir tours, camps and mission trips together. We have been through MANY Bellevue Singing Christmas Tree performances, which you looked all pretty and hardly sang a note! HA! You've come a long way! I'm so proud of you! We have been to almost all of our primary educational schools together. It all began back at Ridgeway Elementary in the 5th grade! That's a LONG time ago! That right there makes me feel super old! Oh, but we are talking about how old YOU are TODAY! HA! 

When we met, you looked just about like this. This was jr. high Bellevue soccer. We were the Victors! I believe this was about circa 1992 or so. What fun we had with Coach Hipp! I can hear Coach Hipp now..."Get it, Laura! Don't run from the ball! Charge it!"  He whipped us girls into shape! 
You and I attempted soccer at ECS, as well. We didn't fare too well on that venture and determined that we were more of the church league material! I'll never forget your face on that away game trip when Coach Bond told you that you would be pretty, once you "filled out". (Sorry, I had to say it!) Hahahaha! 
Such good memories! 

This is Crystal, you and me one night after church. We were always terrorizing the fast food restaurants after church! We hit the G'twn Rd. strip at least twice a week! 

I have to show off the famous couple! This was the first year of the old time-y costumes for the Singing Christmas Tree. Aren't they cute?! Who knew this would one day be THE Mr. & Mrs. David Dawkins?! (Well, we all knew, but they weren't convinced at that age:)

Laurin, you, me and Rebekah at a store on a church trip. Ha!

We had some serious fun with our girlfriends! 


I just LOVE this pic! We made the trek in David's car to Southaven to go to the (then) only Steak n Shake. Little did I know then, but you and Laurin would end up with these gents! What fun!

This might have been one night at summer camp. We were always doing crazy poses! I have SO many great memories with you, buddy! 

I love this one. (sorry for the fuzziness) We got to spend two months in southern Spain in the summer of 2000. What a life changing trip! The Lord worked in our hearts about missions that summer. He gave us a heart for the nations! I praise the Lord for YOU, Buddy, and for all you and your family are doing as you sacrifice time and comfort to reach others for Him. I love you and look forward to many, many more memories with you in the coming years! 
I hope this is a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY for you!


What I Wore Wednesday?

It's hard to write what seems to be such a meaningless/surface-y post today, but I am reminded of the JOY that we can have in the Lord, even through weighty and difficult times. I'm struggling this week, but I am, "...not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me." (II Timothy 2:12)

So, once again, I am linked up to The Pleated Poppy to bring you this week's edition of WIWW!

This past weekend Bear and I got to travel to his old stomping grounds for a little getaway in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary that was in March. After we arrived in Lynchburg on Friday, we toured the Jack Daniels distillery. It is a beautiful tour that takes you through the grounds at such a historic place. 
The above pic is of me posing with a statue of Jack Daniel. It was funny because the tour guide told us that he was actually about five feet tall and wore a size four shoe! The artist depicted him as taller! :)

I chose an outfit for the trip to Lynchburg that could be comfy as well as something that didn't look too comfy, if you know what I mean? :) Not sweatpants and a t-shirt! HA! I've decided that I love wearing flats, but I'm not so sure they "love" me. They feel good, but don't do one thing for helping me look taller or leaner. I just wish heels/wedges were more comfortable. I guess we have to pay that (painful foot) price for beauty sometimes!

On Saturday, we walked around outside our b&b. This was our backyard! Beautiful! I had so much fun exploring! This trip confirmed to me that I could definitely be a "boy mom". HA! I wore my workout clothes for most of the day because we toured the neighboring towns and stopped by Tim's Ford Lake where Bear and his buds used to chill. This area of Tennessee is just breathtaking!

Monday was back to reality! :) I wore these jeans that I picked up at Walmart over the weekend. No! I'm not ashamed to say that sometimes I wear clothes from Walmart. Now, the key is to wear that Walmart piece WITHOUT looking too Walmart! Who wants to be mistaken for one of those "people of Walmart"?! These are a stretch for me, but they were so comfy (and we know how important that is in my line of work?). I had to grab them!

Now, I don't have those long and thin model legs, but I wanted to show a shot of my pants. Do you see it? Zipper on the legs! HA! Welcome back 80's! I just think these jeans are so fun and I will be wearing them the rest of the season! 

I hope you have a happy Wednesday and can get out and enjoy this beautiful (and short lived) Spring weather! 


Whom Shall I Fear?

I wanted to post about our anniversary weekend, but I just can't do it today. My heart is heavy after the horrific events of yesterday in Boston. The Lord was so faithful and kind to quickly remind me of His promises when I learned of the news yesterday afternoon. I immediately took it personally and got angry. That day was an event of a lifetime for so many runners and their families. As I have come toward the finish line of the marathons I've run, I immediately have a sense of joy and accomplishment. I cannot imagine the mixture of emotions and fear that overcame those dear runners and their families. I know how tiring it gets to push past mile 20, then on to 25 and finally mile 26. You can't wait to stop and walk and are just relieved to be finished. 

While this whole ordeal is so upsetting, the Lord graciously brought many verses to mind last night and this morning. I want to share a couple of verses and a hymn with you. 

I want to add that we must go on! We must run on! As believers, we are hidden in HIM! Nothing, nor no one can take that away from us! While I am deeply saddened and will be even more vigilant as I enter large crowds in the future, I will go with the same confidence that I have always had and be reminded that, "...You are from God and have overcome them, for HE who is in you is GREATER than he who is in the world." I John 4:4 (my emphasis added) 

Join me in praying for these that have lost loved ones and for the ones who have physical and emotional scars that will go with them for the remainder of their lives. I pray that many will come to know Him personally through this tragedy. 

Ultimately, this causes me to long for HOME even more!

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me." Psalm 138:7

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Lyrics found here


Lovin' Local: The Pampered Chef

Today I am featuring my sweet friend, Susan Murray,  who is also my hairstylist and Pampered Chef consultant! She's a lovely lady and she's selling some awesome stuff! 

I am hosting a Pampered Chef PARTY this week through next Wednesday over on Facebook. I have probably invited you to the event, but in case I missed ya, let me know and I will add you. You can also just view the catalog and her website here: http://www.pamperedchef.biz/susanmurray 

There are some great deals that are going on this month! Here's one of them:

You don't need to be part of the Facebook event or live in my town. If you would rather not  pick up your items from me or if you live elsewhere, you can just pick to have your products shipped directly to you. Easy as that. :)

I want to tell you about the top 5 items that I enjoy most:

  1. small bar pan- These are one of the many baking stones. I have a few of them, but this one is great for everyday. It fits two to three chicken breasts nicely and makes for quick clean up!
  2. chopper- We use this just about every week for something. We chop everything from nuts to peppers to cooked chicken. It's so handy!
  3. adjustable measuring spoons- These little things are awesome! I use them all the time with all my homemade endeavors. :) It's so simple to just use one piece for tablespoon measuring and another for teaspoon!
  4. cheese shredder-This item is easy to use and easy to clean up. I have tried to get away from buying shredded cheese and this products has helped convince me that it's easy to shred my own!
  5. glass storage containers-This one kind of goes without stating, but I have been converting from plastic to glass. These containers have lids that snap closed, so it keeps things airtight. 
I could go on, but you get my point that Pampered Chef makes some quality stuff! Check it out in Susan's online catalog here: http://www.pamperedchef.biz/susanmurray


What I Wore Wednesday

I am linked up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW, once again. This is just a way of motivation to be more intentional about what I wear each day. Not that it's super important, but it definitely helps to think about it a little more. I have found that I have a more joyful attitude during the day and don't feel yucky when Bear gets home from work. 

This verse came to mind this morning...

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is in vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
 Proverbs 31:30

I want to say that I see dressing in "real" clothes each day does help me to fear and praise the LORD more. I can see how it can become vain, but for me, it helps me to be more awake and productive. You will see that this week, there has been some "not so beautiful" going on. HA! And that's a-okay! 

I beat the fam out of bed to work in a run Saturday morning. This is my trusty typical workout wear. I got these Asics in December for Christmas. They are a bit to big. (Word to the wise: going up one size is definitely recommended, BUT when you are too impatient to check other stores or order that size, going up a size and a half = not the best idea! So I am sporting "boats" for shoes. Oh well! They work!)

This isn't a pretty pic of me, but of my surroundings. I ran along Moore Rd. from the Agri Center toward Walnut Grove. I felt like I was on a country road since I was surrounded by all the fields, when in reality, I was in city! I heart SPRING!

Saturday night I got to assist my sis-in-law at  a high school prom. It was at a beautiful place called Esplanade off of Germantown Parkway. This was in the courtyard. What a cool fire and water display, huh?!
This was the first time I wore this second hand dress. It was so comfy! 

Here we are together! Check out her work on her site!

Sunday afternoon I got to meet a sweet friend at the mall for tea and window shopping. We are ole buds and  former coworkers, now both turned stay-at-home moms! We definitely love our new "jobs"! :)

Here you go with the "not so pretty, this is real life" pic! Many days in the past few weeks, I've watched many children at a time. Yesterday was one of those days. I did pick out my outfit, if you want to call it that! HA! Does it match? I'm not so sure! I can definitely tell you that it was comfortable and that's what counted for Tuesday!

Among the "big kids", I got to chill with this one sweet thing! Violet! I love her already!!!

Above and below are a couple other fun pics that I just HAVE to throw in! My elephant, monkey and panda bear! :)

Sweet Friends!!!

Today was an odd day out of the house. I definitely enjoyed it! 

I hope to get to some real posts about other things besides clothing soon! Stay tuned and go out and enjoy this weather!


What I Wore Wednesday

I'm linked up to The Pleated Poppy again this week. I don't wear "real" clothes everyday during the week, but snapping pics of what I'm wearing is definitely some accountability! Are you motivated to get out of pjs when you are just at home all day? Does your attire affect your motivation? Simply changing from glasses to contacts makes a big difference to me.


Jumping with A at Heart of Memphis rally. 
It was rainy and I just decided to support my team and wore a Tiger's shirt:)

Sunday morning

Not the best pic, but this was my Easter attire. Kelly and I took pics of each other to show our bright choices. This color is not the norm for me, but I'm trying to break out of the neutral rut I've been in for, oh, 15 years! HA! I desperately need a tan! That will come, if the weather ever warms up! I'm going to wear this to a wedding later this month, so I'll get a shot of me and my man.

Sunday afternoon

We went to my mom's house for dinner and the family egg hunt, so I went with Spring warmth. :) I covered my tank top with this black jacket. 
I have decided that, as of Sunday, it's Spring to me! I cleaned out A's closet and we have declaring socks optional and no more than a jacket for warmth! WE WANT SPRING!


It was a rainy day, but since I was going to hang with a friend after dinner, I wore jeans, t-shirt and jacket. And speaking of that friend, look who I got to chill with for a bit....

 This is Lindsey's newest sweetie! Even sweeter for me...she's wearing one of A's sleepers! 

Ok, ya'll have a great day!


Weekend Recap & A Recipe

This is what it's all about!
I swiped this from a blog I follow. She got it from the site where it's sold as a printable. I would actually love to have a framed chalkboard and begin honing my skills on a chalkboard!

Friday night, Allison, Amelia and I went to Fellowship for a Good Friday service. I was really blessed by the service. That was the first Good Friday service that I've attended. It really set the tone for the weekend and got our hearts focused. Afterwards, we did a little shopping. While we were out, I told Allison that I imagine there will be many more GNO's in the future! This little lady loves girl time! 

Saturday morning, we headed to the East campus for an egg hunt, which had to be moved to the gym. There's a first time for everything, right?! 

We got to pet cute bunnies! She was afraid, at first, and then warmed up to them! I really want a bunny one day! 

 We headed down to Heart of Memphis rally at Tiger Lane. We had a blast! Amelia and I jumped in the Grizzlies moon bounce (gave me a birthday party idea!), we got to meet a panda bear, Easter bunny, green jelly bean, big chicken AND...

This was a really cool rally where many different folks came together to celebrate our city. To my surprise, I was interviewed by ABC 24 and it was televised! I am not into being on tv, but was happy to be talking about bringing our city together! If you haven't seen it yet, here ya go!

After church, we attempted to snap some shots. I think candids are the best! (somebody needs a tan!)

Sunday afternoon, she headed out with cousins to hunt for yummy "chocit" filled eggs at Maw Maw & Paw Paw's house. (I had one of my skirts up cycled to a dress for little A. I thought it turned out so well! The head band was even part of the skirt too! All thanks to a sweet friend of a cousin from Facebook!)


Baked Apples

I had some apples that were desperately needing to be eaten. I came across a recipe today that seemed to fit. I adapted the recipe to the ingredients I had on hand and (excitedly) I made it Paleo approved! (I'm pretty sure).

before the bake

the finished product

Here's my adaptation...


~about 7 organic apples (because that's how many I had that were still edible), sliced and cut into bite size pieces
~3 Medjoole dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
~cinnamon, enough to dash on the entire dish
~Bragg's apple cider vinegar, probably 1/4 cup
~about 20 pecans, chopped


PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Put apples and dates in single layer in a 9x13 pan. DASH cinnamon over the entire dish. SPLASH ACV over it. SPRINKLE pecans. BAKE for 20-25 minutes.